What it takes to become a better archer
Archery is a craft that requires diligence and dedication to achieve success. Becoming a successful archer does not happen overnight, and there are no shortcuts to proficiency. However, there are a handful of tips that can aid you in conquering archery’s learning curve and allow you to optimise the results that stem from your efforts.
The following is a list of practical considerations that outline what you need to become a better archer.
A bow that fits you
One of the most important factors for finding consistency in your archery endeavours is a well-chosen and properly adjusted bow. There are more quality bows, both traditional and compound bows, on the market today than ever before. This comes as an enormous benefit because an ill-fitted or improperly adjusted bow can spell trouble when striving for excellence.
If a bow features a draw length that forces an archer to overdraw or under draw, your form is negatively impacted and accuracy suffers. Likewise, a bow that utilises a draw weight that is more than what an archer can physically handle leads to straining and poor muscle control. This too can stifle accuracy.
While it’s not necessary to spend your life’s savings solely on archery gear, it is always a good idea to buy the best quality accessories for the bow that you can afford. Items such as quality sights with micro-diameter, fibre optic pins and zero-friction, drop-away arrow rests can be worthy investments toward increased accuracy.
Quality bolt-on accessories can assist you in unlocking the true potential of your bow, as well as that of your own accuracy. Along the same line, sub-par accessories can hold back an already skilled archer and stifle overall accuracy. Luckily, even high-end sights, rests and stabilisers can be purchased at a reasonable price, making an upgrade affordable for most budgets.
Ample time to practice
Another worthy consideration when striving to become a better archer is that of the available time that you have for practice. Archery, to a large extent, is a sport that relies heavily upon muscle memory and repetition.
The more you shoot, the better you will become, and this tends to be universal across all forms of archery. If minimal time is allowed for archery practice, minimal results should be anticipated.
Many of the most capable archers practice daily. This allows an individual to refine their technique and ingrain the use of proper form into their shooting approach. This will quickly lead to an increase in accuracy as an archer’s use of proper form, or lack thereof, is a make or break factor when shooting their bow.
Patience and persistence
Excellence in the craft of archery should be considered a long-term goal. Success comes with persistence. You will have bad days of shooting as well as excellent days at the range.
This is no different from an athlete in any other sport. A star quarterback of a football team does not necessarily have to have the best performance of their career to be considered great, they just have to consistently be better than the competition.
The key to growing as an archer, and finding success, is being able to look past sub-par practice sessions, knowing full well that tomorrow will be better.
Allowing a single day of poor shooting to shake your confidence can have long-lasting consequences to overall accuracy and performance. If you have a bad day of shooting, shake it off and focus on finding a way to overcome these issues in the future.
A coach or shooting partner
If you find yourself struggling to improve as an archer, locate a knowledgeable shooting coach or shooting partner. At times, it can be difficult to pinpoint the source of your inaccuracy. These individuals can assist you in uncovering flaws in your form that you might be unaware of. This allows you to spend less time speculating and more time rectifying these flaws.
An archery coach or shooting partner can also help you stick to a dedicated practice regimen. By planning to meet with another archer on a regular basis you are less likely to talk yourself out of practicing and will find it easier to remain motivated.
This can be especially true when feeling tired, or when you are saddled with many daily obligations that make it easy to push practice to the side.
A fitness routine
Archery is often far more physically taxing than one might think. Repeatedly drawing a bow, especially those with higher draw weights, can be demanding on the muscle groups of your upper body.
An archer must possess ample strength and stamina to shoot their bow for any period of time without facing notable fatigue. This is precisely the reason why it is important to take part in some form of physical fitness routine.
Exercises like dumbbell rows and forearm planks are great for those that participate in archery. It is also valuable to take part in some form of cardio exercise such as walking or jogging. Cardio works wonders on the whole body including your breathing. This is highly beneficial as an archer must be able to control their breathing when at full draw.
Achieving archery efficiency
Finding success in archery is based largely on an individual’s ability to stay sharp both mentally and physically. The addition of quality equipment further aids an archer’s ability to achieve peak accuracy. By giving these factors equal consideration as a whole, you will soon find yourself shooting better than you thought possible.
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